NFL to Ray: “It took us three weeks, but we got ya…”

October 16, 2009 | Drew Forrester

I assumed Ray Lewis would get fined for his hit on Chad Johnson last Sunday, but $25k is too much — if you ask me, which, of course, no one did.

And now we find out that Ray evidently kicked a Bengals player during the 4th quarter.  Wow.  Really?  I heard Ray spit on the field too. 

While I agree that was a bad hit on Johnson and I even agree Ray probably needs to feel it in the wallet, this $25k fine is a final wrap from the Patriots fiasco three weeks ago where Lewis and Ed Reed battered the officiating crew without actually saying anything that was a fine-worthy offense. 

When you review Ray’s comments after the Patriots loss, he gingerly walks the fine line between saying “I’m not happy with how that I all shook out today” and “The referees suck and those calls were terrible.”

Ray – as he has the ability to do – rambled on and on after that Pats game and didn’t actually come right out and say what he really wanted to say.  He wanted to tell everyone that he thought the Ravens got jobbed by the refs.  Ed Reed actually DID say it the following day on a Baltimore radio show:  “Well, the refs made sure the point spread got covered” – but since no one was listening to the show, no one in the New York office seemed to care.  Make no mistake about it though, had Reed said that to the media gathered at his locker in New England, he wouldn’t have played last week against the Bengals.

As for Ray, the league got their way today when they fined him $25k. 

They WANTED to fine him something after the New England outburst but they couldn’t — because he delicately balanced his comments so as NOT to give them anything worthy of a fine.

But in the end, they got him.

They KNEW he was criticizing the officiating in New England…but they just couldn’t pull the trigger on a fine because he carefully chose his words.  

Today, Ray pays for those comments, his hit on Johnson and kicking a guy from the other team.

I’m surprised the league didn’t tack on $5k for Ray ducking the local media after Sunday’s loss to the Bengals. 

He’ll appeal the fine, it will get reduced to $15k, and Ray will say nothing the rest of the year.  He’ll make an occasional cryptic remark about the refs and joke about “being lighter in the wallet” but his days of referee bashing – at least this season – have come to an end. 

Mark this one down.  It’s a final.

NFL 1 – Ray Lewis 0